The Case Against Militarism

Quentin Cox

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Published conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

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Having met, worked and socialised with a myriad of Maritime University and Academy staff around the world, many courtesy of my privileged membership of IMLA , it has struck me how the approach to MET varies throughout these many institutions. There appear to be a series of very distinct regimes across the world. Many flag states choose to train their officer trainees under degree programmes whilst others choose a less academic process. Whether on a degree programme or not, there are also many regimes whom choose a militaristic approach to the training of officers. This militaristic approach is not limited to domestic discipline enforcement; it stretches into the classroom. One might question the function of a military style instructional teaching programme, where the entire premise of producing a watch keeping officer, is to encourage independent problem solving skills. The problem is that instructional teaching methods do little to instil the required capabilities into a trainee. In the early stages of their training new entrants often have their personality crushed in order for it to be re-built under an enforced discipline regime. They are deliberately overloaded with work, both physical and study, on the premise that life on board a merchant ship will be similarly challenging. This is not necessarily the case. The argument offered by this paper is based on the contention that a militaristic approach to training breeds ?followers? not ?leaders?. Trainees learn how to follow ?orders?. One concern is that even as a senior officer they will expect Captains to be the only decision maker on board. During a period when the global shipping industry is suffering from an alarming lack of recruits, this is especially concerning.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Maritime Lecturers Association 19th Conference, 28th September to 1st October 2011, Opatjia, Croatia
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2011
Externally publishedYes


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